Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Caring For Others Is Essential

Are you actively caring for others in a community of believers? I believe this is an essential part of being Christ's church.

I fear some people believe they are active members in Christ church because they are doing other church activities. They contribute by being video techs, sound techs, ushers, Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders, VBS helpers, church librarians, building maintenance, worship band members, or preaching weekly sermons. These may be all good things, but they are extras. They are not things we find the early church doing. Others simply show up, put money in the plate, sing the songs, and listen to the sermon.

Some typical church activities may help you care for others. They are not all bad. But I hope people don't think participating in these ways makes them active members in Christ church. Christ's church has existed in the past without these extras, and still exists outside these activities.

Here are some of the key activities we find in Scripture:
  • Loving one another (John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:11, 1 John 4:12, 2 John 1:5)
  • Praying for one another (Ephesians 6:18)
  • encouraging one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25)
  • Being devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
  • Honoring one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)
  • Living in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16)
  • Accepting one another (Romans 15:7)
  • Instructing one another (Romans 15:14)
  • Teaching and admonishing one another (Colossians 3:16)
  • Serving one another (Galatians 5:13) - this one may usually happen outside our regularly scheduled gathering, at other people's homes
  • Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Singing and making music in our hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19)
  • Submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
  • Bearing with each other and forgiving whatever grievances you may have against one another (Colossians 3:13)
Please allow me state this another way, using language similar to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
If I serve in every church program
but do not show love to others
I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I make time to study to theology
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith
but do not have love for those around me, I am nothing.
And if I give my tithe to pay for church programs, staff and buildings
and if I give all my time to serve these programs
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Loving others is essential. I know it is possible to do some non-essential activities and also do what is essential. I just think every believer should make the essentials a priority.

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2 comments:

Lysa said...

Jon,
Thanks for sharing this! I whole-heartedly agree! Several years ago the Lord began a paradigm shift in my own thinking and relationship with him; began revealing things to me that I couldn't see before. My thoughts about serving were part of what needed to be changed... you have expressed it perfectly! :)
Keep it up! There are people out there who need to hear your thoughts!
Blessings!

Jonathan said...

Thanks. I needed that encouragement. :)